facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Retailers protest contraband tobacco

Aug. 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM   |   Comments

TORONTO, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- A Canadian retail association in Ontario mounted a campaign Thursday asking smokers to stop buying contraband tobacco and buy legitimate brands.

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association said in a release it had paid for 36 billboards throughout Toronto to remind smokers of the heavy fines they could face for buying untaxed cigarettes.

The vast majority of the contraband cigarettes are sold through Indian reservations in Eastern Ontario that straddle the New York state border and other reservations further west along the Canada-U.S. border.

While fully taxed name brand cartons of 200 cigarettes sell for as much as $90 in stores, the same number of cigarettes can cost as little as $10 from a reservation.

The association also echoed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police warning that fines for possession of contraband tobacco fines are steep – as much as $2,500 for 200 cigarettes.

Additionally, despite their various media campaigns, the provincial and federal governments are losing tens of millions of dollars in taxes to the growing black market, various media reports have said in recent months.

The retail association has about 7,500 members in Ontario, and said the number is shrinking.

"Over the past several years, over 1,000 convenience stores have gone out of business, in large part due to the effects of the illegal contraband market on these law-abiding retailers," the release said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Marijuana decriminalized in Philadelphia Marijuana decriminalized in Philadelphia
2
Reports claim Ukraine used cluster bombs in Donetsk city Reports claim Ukraine used cluster bombs in Donetsk city
3
Early completion of refit of Italian aircraft carrier Early completion of refit of Italian aircraft carrier
4
No, Banksy hasn't been arrested, nor his identity revealed No, Banksy hasn't been arrested, nor his identity revealed
5
Pope Francis condemns 'hostile inflexibility' within the church Pope Francis condemns 'hostile inflexibility' within the church
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback